The Most Important When Buying Consoles for Fitness Games

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What Features Are Most Important When Buying Consoles for Fitness Games?

One of the biggest advancements to hit the gaming scene in last few years has been the development of a broad market of games geared to increase the fitness of the users. These fitness games are exciting and fun and a great way to lose pounds without having to leave the living room. Such factors make them very attractive, especially for people who do not have the time to get out and exercise. They are also a great option for those who may find it difficult to regularly get the activity they need to stay healthy. These games have become known as 'exergames'.

The manufacturers of many of the most popular game consoles, have developed add-ons and controllers for their consoles that make utilising the games for fitness easy and enjoyable, regardless of the user's experience level. These include the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Kinect, PS3 Move, and the Wii Fit. For the consumer who is considering a game console specifically to use for exergaming, it can be difficult to choose the right console. In order to narrow the possibilities, consider these important features, such as the number of games available, the types of games available, require add-ons, the space required, and other factors when shopping.

Type of Fitness Games Available on the Console

In the scope of things, exergaming, or fitness gaming, is relatively new to the gaming scene, as well as to the fitness world. For the first time, many of the people who are in the market for gaming consoles have no interest in using them for the casual, sedentary video games of yesterday. These technological components that once strictly represented an unhealthy pastime are now eagerly being sought out for their ability to get people active in enjoyable manner. Many of the games are focused on fitness, with several training and work-out titles available.

Motion Games

Other titles that are available on the different consoles, however, seemingly focus on playtime and games, with dance and adventure titles. These games, often referred to as motion games, may not seem to focus on fitness, but they do get the body moving and can provide an enjoyable workout. When choosing a game console with fitness in mind, consider the different types of games available on each of the consoles and how the family will be most likely to utilise them for both fun and fitness.

How Fitness Games Differ From Motion Games

Fitness games and motion games are different from one another, and many consumers who are interested in a console in order to get exercise may actually prefer motion games to those meant specifically for fitness. The following chart describes some of the ways that fitness games differ from motion games.

Fitness Games

Motion Games

Games are focused on fitness, targeting specific exercises

Games are focused on fun and movement

Games often include an on-screen trainer and guidance on how to perform exercise

Little or no guidance on how to perform the movements

Games generally include fitness tracking and timers

Generally, games keep scores rather than tracking fitness

Focuses on solo game play

Games are often geared toward group play

Most families enjoy owning the game console for traditional game play, motion games, as well as for fitness games.

Number of Available Fitness Games for the Console

The gaming consoles that have features that really make exergaming a focus have a large number of fitness games available. Each year the developers create new ones and update the games currently on the market. Just like with any other activity, playing the same fitness game over and over can become monotonous for some people. For this reason, it is a good idea to have several different games to choose between in order to stay active.

When shopping for a game console, research to determine not only the type of games that are available on the individuals systems, but also the number of games available. It is also a good idea to determine how often the company puts out new fitness games and the type of review they typically receive. Checking out reviews on how other people enjoy the console and game is a great way to help determine which one to choose.

Consoles That Require Add-Ons for Fitness Games

In general, add-ons are necessary in order to get the best fitness advantages out of the top gaming consoles. These include special cameras, pads, or controllers. Many people state certain advantages with the systems that utilise controllers, including access to buttons for on-screen controls and typically a larger selection of activities. On the other hand, many people also enjoy the freedom of using a system that only uses a camera and does not require them to hold controllers. When shopping for a gaming console or fitness games, determine ahead of time how important this factor is.

The Necessary Space for the Fitness Games

A main reason that many people state for their dissatisfaction after purchasing a game console for fitness purposes is that it turns out that they just do not have enough space in the room for what the system requires. Some game systems do not have any space requirement because the system simply interacts with the handheld controller. Camera-type gaming systems, on the other hand, can require up to three metres of play space in order for the system to detect motion accurately. Before settling on any system, first determine how much play space the system requires and if the available space accommodates that.

Consoles That Utilise Whole Body Sensing for Fitness Games

Some gaming systems sense the entire body, allowing for the system to provide feedback on specific movements and postures. This can be key to achieving an effective workout for some games and routines. The games available on these systems often include on-screen coaches or trainers or some other way of indicating to the user that the activity is or is not being performed correctly. Many users find this feedback to be invaluable in truly advancing in their abilities.

Other systems are not capable of providing this feedback because the system only tracks the controller in the user's hand. Many users state that a negative consequence of this is that it can be hard to push themselves to perform better and to develop their abilities. If the game console being considered does not offer whole body sensing, it may be wise to learn how to perform certain activities correctly elsewhere, at a gym or through a trainer, and use the game system primarily for practice.

Number of Players

A main reason that many people like the idea of fitness games is that they can do their work-out in the privacy of their own home. Any of these gaming consoles are great for that. However, it has been shown that when people work out with other people they are more likely to be successful with the routine, stick with it, and endure longer. In other words, it helps to work out with a friend.

Some systems and specific games are limited to only one player at a time. In particular, a system that utilises controllers or a pad that the user stands on are limited by the number of controllers and pad that the owner has purchased. This means that getting more people involved in the activity can cost much more, as these additional accessories typically require separate purchases.

Keep in mind that this is not a limitation for all consoles. Some units can accommodate up to four players in the room and additional players via an online connection. These consoles can be used this way without the additional cost of purchasing extra controllers, which is a big bonus for many consumers. A major bonus for choosing this type of console is that it can really make getting into shape with a group very effortless and enjoyable.

It is important, however, to be mindful of how much space is available for such a routine. Also, regardless of how many players the system allows for, many fitness and other games are limited to only one or two players. So it is important to determine this before purchasing specific games with group play in mind.


Finding a fun way to consistently get quality exercise can be a challenge for many people. Now, there is a new option, and one that a large number of people are finding great success with. Exergaming, or utilising a game consoles motion sensing technology to work out, has become a preferred option for these exercisers.

The technology used for fitness games differs depending on the manufacturer, and these differences can affect the user's enjoyment of the console. Specifically, the types of game offered for each console as well as the number of options available is one feature that many consumers consider very important. How the user interacts with the game, the space required for its use, and the number of players they can play it at one time are also important to consider before purchasing a specific game console.

Ultimately, one of the main features that many consumers are most concerned with is the overall cost of the purchase. Some consoles require very few additional add-ons, seemingly keeping the cost relatively low, although the games for these may be more expensive. Other consoles that often have more reasonably priced games may require more accessories. These are all factors that the consumer should take into consideration when purchasing a console for fitness games.

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